Republic Network CEO Vikas Khanchandani arrested in fake TRP case

In a statement, Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami has requested the Supreme Court to take up the matter suo-motu.
Republic CEO Vikas Khanchandani arrested
Republic CEO Vikas Khanchandani arrested
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The Mumbai police probing the fake TRP scam case made its 13th arrest — Republic Media Network's CEO Vikas Khanchandani — after conducting a raid on Sunday morning. Vikas along with Republic CFO S Sundaram had moved Sessions Court in Mumbai on Thursday seeking anticipatory bail in the fake TRP case. The hearing for the same has been scheduled for Monday.

Taking to Twitter soon after the arrest, Republic TV issued a statement, saying, "The Network’s CEO was arrested from his home this morning without any papers, and despite complete compliance with the investigation.” Last week, the Karnataka High Court had granted transit anticipatory bail to Republic Network’s COO Priya Mukherjee for 20 days in the case. 

Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic Media Network, alleging that the arrest is ‘unconstitutional’ as Vikas has been cooperating with the police, and asked: “If the matter comes under TRAI, why is the Mumbai Police arresting our CEO Vikas Khanchandani?” While anchoring the broadcast on Vikas’ arrest, Arnab requested that “The Hon'ble Supreme Court of the country takes up this matter suo-motu.” 

On December 7, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea filed by Republic TV's editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and ARG Outlier Media Private Limited seeking protection from arrest for the group and its employees in the cases lodged against them in Maharashtra. 

The Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on October 8 had held a press conference where he alleged that a TRP racket had been busted involving Republic TV and two Marathi TV channels — Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi. The chargesheet in the case was filed on November 24 where Arnab Goswami, Vikas Khanchandani, S Sundaram and others were named as accused. 

Republic Network has alleged that the Assistant Vice President, Distribution, Ghanshyam Singh, was “brutally tortured, physically assaulted, and lashed with a chakki belt” while in the custody of Mumbai police. He was arrested on November 10 and was in custody in the same case for 26 days before getting bail on December 6.  

Based on an internal report of Hansa Research Group along with a team of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) officials, alleged malpractices with the purpose of obtaining fake TRPs were reported. Based on the report, the company filed a complaint with the Mumbai police and an FIR was subsequently lodged under chargers of forgery, fraud, destruction of documents or electronic record, and other charges. 

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